It's hard to open / close a lot of the cabinets in my apartment. There was one where I was seriously worried I was going to pull the handle off, I had to pull so hard to open it.

Could the problem be the paint? The cabinets have a LOT of paint on them, sort of gloopily applied. What should I do? If there's a simple way to fix it myself I'd like to try.

Edit: I've added a picture of one of the cabinets.

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  • The answer is likely to depend on how the cabinet doors fit to the cabinet body, are the doors inset or in-front? What sort of clearances are there? What sort of hinges? A photo or three would help. Currently the wording of your question strongly suggests only one answer - strip and repaint. – RedGrittyBrick Sep 26 '14 at 15:01
  • There's a lot that can be done to help this sort of problem but we'll need some more details about the cabinets construction first. Frame and panel doors or slab? What kind of hardware? Face frame or frameless cabinets? Is there lead based paint involved? Pictures will help because we might see something we'd never think to ask otherwise. – user23534 Sep 26 '14 at 15:03

This stickiness happens when two painted surfaces touch. Get some silicone cabinet bumpers and stick them to the corners of the cabinet doors.

enter image description here

  • 2
    If you look at the picture in the question note that the cabinet door is fully inset into the face frame. The binding is along the edges of the door and the inside edges of the frame. The fix here is unfortunately not going to be bumper feet. – Michael Karas Mar 17 '19 at 15:16
  • OK, so in the corner might not help. But on the shelf in the middle might. The point is to keep whatever surfaces are sticking together from touching. Put a bumper wherever necessary to make that happen. – longneck Mar 20 '19 at 0:59

There are three main reasons I have found painted cabinets to stick.

[1] The paint isn't cured. This just takes time. Some paints might be 60-90 days.

[2] The door was installed too close to being painted. What will happen is the door will bond with cabinet and the two will almost make some tiny paint hooks with each other. Very fine grade sandpaper will do the trick and a whole kitchen can be done in an hour.

[3] Amount of paint on doors isn't allowing for clearance for something and you are squishing the paint. Got to sand this with something coarse or take of paint totally.

I would start with #2 in your case and see if that helps.


A quick and easy solution may be to wash the cabinet surfaces well and then rub on a candle wax coat along the mating surfaces.

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